Update 4 (11:00 - 12/8/2014)
Sony issued an internal statement about the hack. In it, the head of Mandiant security, Kevin Mandia, called the hack "unprecedented" and claims that the malware could not have been stopped by industry standard security. This corroborates the FBI flash alert released last week.
We also know the malware was tracked to a Bangkok hotel. You might think this means it wasn't North Koreans, but many experts still believe the country to be somehow behind the attacks. North Korea has obviously denied responsibility, but the country did call the hack "righteous."
Update 3 (11:45 - 12/5/2014)
Even more embarrassing information about the Sony hack has been released. The hack revealed Social Security numbers of the people who work for Sony Pictures - up to 47,000. Those people include Sylvester Stallone, Judd Apatow and many other celebrities.
Not only that, but Sony also kept thousands of passwords in a folder marked — you guessed it — "passwords." Now that's what I call cybersecurity.
Update 2 (11:45 - 12/3/2014)
New information has come to light in this hack. We now know it could be one of the biggest, most harmful leaks in the history of corporate hacking. After combing through the leaked documents - more than 40GB of them - a reporter at Fusion found this shocking info had been leaked:
A spreadsheet listing the names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers of 3,803 Sony Pictures employees, including all of the company’s top executives.
A spreadsheet listing the division-by-division Sony Pictures payroll, as well as breaking down costs for raises and other pay changes. (The company’s total salaries, as of May, were listed at $454,224,070.)
A spreadsheet listing Sony Pictures employees who were fired or laid off in 2014 as part of the company’s reorganization, along with the reasons for their termination.
Detailed performance reviews for hundreds of Sony Pictures employees. Comments left on individual reviews included sentiments like “[Name redacted] is friendly, open and a fantastic team player,” “Key performer,” and “Flight risk if contributions are not recognised.”
A spreadsheet and chart comparing Sony Pictures’ employee pay to that of its competitors.
When all is said and done, I don't expect Sony Pictures' box office figures to suffer in the near future, but long term this could cost the company dearly. Cyberattacks are going to be an increasingly serious problem for businesses big and small going forward. Click here to learn the three security mistakes you shouldn't let your small business make.
There have been new developments in the Sony hacking incident. It seems that the #GOP wasn't thrilled with Sony's response to the hack, and has since leaked watermarked "screeners" of upcoming films online - like the WWII action flick "Fury" and the remake of the popular musical "Annie."
A "screener" is a watermarked version of a new film that has none or almost none of the final post-production work, like polishing of the lighting, camera angles or special effects. This is a devastating blow to Sony Pictures, and there are still no leads on who this #GOP group is.
Some folks are speculating that disgruntled former employees helped to coordinate the attack, since there have been massive layoffs this year. Others are leaning towards North Korea, where the communist state has officially threatened the filmmakers of the new Seth Rogan and James Franco film "The Interview" - a comedy about assassinating Kim Jong-Un.
Stay tuned for more updates!
"Hacked By #GOP"
That's the message that appeared on every single computer screen connected to the Sony Pictures Entertainment network. Sony Pictures is the film studio behind the "Spider-Man" movies, "Men In Black," the "Underworld" franchise and many more. Yesterday, the corporation was the victim of a massive cyberattack that affected every one of its machines. Here's the image that took over the screens:
First of all, I'm pretty sure Republicans aren't to blame for this hacking job. I'd say it's safe to cross the Grand Old Party off the list of suspects. So what does #GOP stand for in this situation?
Sony has yet to make an official comment, but an anonymous source inside the company confirmed the hack was real and that the IT department had blocked every computer from even accessing the Internet. Here's a quote from the source on The Next Web:
“Sony’s information-technology departments have instructed employees to turn off their computers as well as disable Wi-Fi on all mobile devices”
The Verge did some digging and managed to get in touch with one of the hackers who claimed responsibility. If this source is telling the truth, the hackers had help from employees of Sony Pictures. In an email, one of the hackers said:
"We Want equality [sic]. Sony doesn't. It's an upward battle."
The hackers claim to have stolen huge amounts of data from Sony, including "secrets and top secrets." The links posted in the image lead to files that purportedly list all the stolen information. In one of those files, the letters GOP are identified as standing for "Guardians of Peace."
As of today, Sony computers are still offline.